Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by idyll, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. idyll macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    We currently have a family plan with Verizon and all got iPhone 6 phones on launch day for the subsidized price. We're thinking about switching to T-Mobile as we would be saving a little over $200 a month to do so.

    According to a Verizon chat representative, the only fees we would incur for canceling our Verizon plan would be the ETF fees, which T-Mobile is agreeing to cover.

    Is there something we are missing? Would there be any other fees?

    Is there a catch? I know we'll receive pre-paid cards from T-Mobile - can we use these to pay the Verizon ETF fees?
  2. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Getting TMobile to pay your ETF means you need to trade in phones to them (1 for each ETF paid) and buy new phones from them. You won't receive the gift cards reimbursing you until several weeks after you submit a copy of your bill showing the ETF charges to them, possibly after that bill is due, so I wouldn't count on being able to use them to pay Verizon.

    Details are here: http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/no-early-termination-fees-info.html
  3. Orangechipper macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2014
    The big catch

    T-mobile is GREAT in spots. But horrible between spots.

    So make sure Tmobile has good coverage to and from work and to and from your main usage points.

    What good is a company if it doesn't allow you to use your phone as a GPS or to look up restaurants near by when you are out and about. T-mobile has the worst coverage of the major guys.

    Buyer beware.

    Check this first http://opensignal.com/network-coverage-maps/
  4. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Even Open Signal's maps are not a complete story. Anyone who is actually serious about potentially switching to TMobile to save money should try their 1 week Test Drive option. They send you a phone (currently the 5s, I think), you use the heck out of it for seven days and then drop it off at a TMobile store in your area. Alternatively, if you have a GSM unlocked phone--which I believe the 6/6+ Verizon models are supposed to be--just pick up a TMobile sim & prepay for a few days to try it out.

    I say this, because according to those maps, I should have profoundly crappy coverage. Instead, I have equal or better signal in my area than I did with AT&T, and faster LTE speeds....for less than half what I paid AT&T. If I'd gone by the maps instead of dropping a prepaid TMobile sim into my unlocked phone, and checking it out for myself, I never would have switched.

    I totally agree that there's no point in switching if the coverage isn't there. I just think the only way to really find out is to actually try it out in your area.
  5. ELPresidente720 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2014
    Don't hold your breath on the ETF reimbursement. Like they tell you, it takes several weeks to process. I made the switch from Sprint and I'm very glad I did!
  6. jasonc11 macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2009
    Question about trying T-Mobile on Verizon ip6

    If I test drive T-mobile with my own Verizon iphone 6 by swapping in a T-mobile sim:

    - How do I use the T-mobile sim I recently picked up for prepaid service? Or is that a separate sim I need to get?

    - Does trying this on my Verizon iPhone in any way impact or break the settings that are currently on the phone making it compatible with Verizon's network? Or am I able to just pop the Verizon sim back in after I test the other network and it will simply work as it does now?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance.
  7. idyll thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    For those that switched to T-Mobile, how long did it take to receive the ETF reimbursement from T-Mobile?

    It'd be killer to have to pay the ETFs for 8 phones all at once to Verizon.
  8. IrishVixen macrumors 68020


    Jun 20, 2010
    Because I was going with TMobile's $30 plan, which only works on new activations (you apparently can't switch to that plan from an already activated sim, from what I read), and since I already had local friends on TMobile raving about it, I just went ahead and activated it for that plan on TM's site. Worst case scenario, I would have been out $30 if it was really horrendous. I tried it out about halfway through my AT&T billing cycle (forwarded my regular cell number to the random prepaid one), then once I was sure I wanted to switch, I had TM port my AT&T number over a couple of days before my billing cycle ended. Don't end your current service at the beginning of a cycle--the major carriers do not prorate your bill, and you'll pay for a full month even if you don't use it!

    If I were instead in an area where TM service was questionable and I wanted that $30 prepaid plan, I would have gotten two sims. Activated one, done their $3 a day prepaid service for a few days to test, then activated the other for the $30 plan. TM pretty routinely offers sims online for free or 99¢, so it's cheap enough to get more than one.

    Any other prepaid plan, I believe you can switch to or from without any real penalty. It's just the $30 one that requires a brand new online activation, at least according to what I researched beforehand. Not sure if you can later switch to a postpaid account using a prepaid sim, but nothing on their site that I've found indicates that you can't. If anyone intends to do that, I'd suggest calling TM to confirm.

    I had no issues switching sims from AT&T to TM and back again. Visual voicemail wouldn't show until I called my own number and left a message to trigger it, but that was about it. Not sure about Verizon's setup, so hopefully someone can chime in on that.
  9. Rockies macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2011
    Make the switch. I had Verizon and moved to T-Mobile. I am saving $80 a month with T-Mobile. Getting much better download speeds with T-Mobile. Also GSM has better voice sound than CDMA.
  10. pongyuekong macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2014
    I'm also looking for the same answer as I'll be getting my tmobile test drive this Saturday.
  11. HotIce macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2014
    I've been a T-Mobile Customer since they were called VoiceStream. They're service has significantly improved in my area, and I mean SIGNIFICANTLY!
  12. dishfan82 macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2014
    Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon

    I made the Jump to them. I don't very good coverage in my home, even when I had Verizon but what's nice is they have Wifi calling and you can use a router they have that's designed to prioritize calls, text and data over other stuff in your house . So far I get coverage where I had Verizon coverage. Plus I like that my bill is cut in half of what it was. Can't forget the free music streaming without using your data.
  13. andyx3x macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2011
    Like someone said earlier, don't count on getting it in time to pay Verizon. 4-6 weeks is the normal time, closer to the six weeks.
  14. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Yeah. Coverage.
  15. Orangechipper macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2014

    Tmobile will pay for OTHERS ETF. But if you don't like tmobile....

    Because the coverage sucks as example.... You are stuck. Nobody will (or its really hard) to get someone to pay Tmobile's ETF.

    I moved from Houston - (had voicestream - turned to tmobile... Always loved it!!) to San Antonio. Tmobile sucked in San Antonio. SA is still top 10 city population wise.... and yet coverage was horrible. Guess what... They would not allow me out of contract or do anything to help me once i moved. So you could be stuck if your patterns change.

    Been with At&t since and been much better coverage.
  16. ANTAWNM26 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2009
    easy work around all he has to do get some old phones turn them in and buy the cheapest tmobile phone which is $65 then switch to their iphones....
  17. E3BK macrumors 68030


    Mar 15, 2008
    TMobile doesn't have ETF fees as there are no contracts. The only thing you have to do is pay for your phone. If you are on an EIP and you decide to leave, you just have to pay off the phone. That's it. If you had service w/ TMO a few years ago, they are practically a new company these days.

    While AT&T has greater land coverage, I didn't get it in my apartment or at work. WiFi calling changed that. Free roaming? Check. Lower bills? Check. Faster data? Check. If I decide to hit the road on a trip, I'll get a Verizon pre-paid data plan for my iPad and go from there. Again, WiFi calling. But made a trip up to Rhode Island and had service all the way.

    I have only been at a loss for service once with TMO, when I went apple picking in upstate NY. BUt my friends with Verizon & AT&T had no service either. Only my Sprint friend did, which is ironic. haha.

    As always, YMMV with service but I haven't been happier with a service provider. I was with AT&T for 14 years and switched to TMO a few months ago. Service in the areas I frequent has been equal to or many times, better than, AT&T. WiFi calling is fantastic.
  18. fjd726 macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2011
    How does wifi calling work with them? Do you need a specific router or can you use an existing one?
  19. Orangechipper macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2014

    Yeah. it was shortly after my mess with them that they rebooted to no etf's. But they still wouldn't let me out of mine. Guy had the nerve to tell me that THEY honor contracts... So I should also. BS. With the way i was treated, i wouldn't wish my worst enemy on T-mobile. YMMV is right. And this is with me being with them for over 10 years. No mercy at all. NEVER AGAIN. It will be a cold day in hell before i ever pay off that ETF fee from them.

    They may have changed their model and have better service now. But I for one will never risk it again. They also botched a phone issue with us. Sent the same phone 3 times and killed the wrong phone on the account twice! Incompetence is being kind.
  20. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    It works with any WiFi router.
  21. KPOM, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Since your Verizon iPhones will work on T-Mobile, consider whether it's better just to pay the ETF rather than buy all new phones from T-Mobile. Remember, you'd be buying the iPhone 6 from T-Mobile for $650 with their installment plan, in addition to the $235 you paid for each iPhone 6 from Verizon. OTOH, if you pay the $350 ETF, you won't need to buy the iPhone 6 and your monthly bill will be that much lower.

    IOW, if you have T-Mobile cover the ETF, you are paying $650 over 24 months so that T-Mobile will pay Verizon $350 now. Granted, you can sell the VZW iPhones for something, but that could be a hassle. If you pay $350 now and just use your VZW iPhones on T-Mobile, you'll save $27.08 per month for the next 2 years.


    Both T-Mobile and Verizon are migrating users to VoLTE, which should be better than either GSM or CDMA.
  22. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I did it. It took two months. I definitely wouldn't rely on it to fund the ETF payoff. You will have to fork over the ETFs first, and then get your money back from T-Mobile in the form of a debit card.
  23. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Beware that T-Mo does not have near the coverage that Verizon does. If you travel you will find huge areas where you have no signal. Just a few weeks ago I traveld with a friend who had T-Mo and he only had servic near the cities and zero in between. He used my phone more than his. Verizon has excellent coverage.
  24. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I have T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T (between work and personal) and T-Mobile is not good outside of big cities and I wanted to drop AT&T and switch at one time. I am so glad I didn't switch to T-Mobile now, but maybe it will work for you.

    Get a pay as you go phone from T-Mobile and try it out and see how it works. it would suck if you made the switch and realized $200 is worth it.

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